PN piggybacks on Joseph Muscat to lambast government over ‘lack of economic vision’

The PN says government failed to create new economic sectors and now relies on borrowing to address the country’s challenges

The PN is using Joseph Muscat's commentary on the economy to buttress its own arguments
The PN is using Joseph Muscat's commentary on the economy to buttress its own arguments

Updated at 8:20 pm with Jason Azzopardi Facebook post reaction

The Nationalist Party has piggybacked on a study published by former prime minister Joseph Muscat to emphasise government’s inadequate response to Malta’s economic challenges.

PN spokespersons Ivan J. Bartolo and Robert Cutajar kicked off their statement on Friday by referring to Muscat’s social media commentary on a consumer confidence study he commissioned.

The unorthodox approach of giving Muscat a platform despite years of demonising him appears to be a continuation of the strategy adopted in the election campaign when Bernard Grech painted Muscat a victim of Robert Abela.

In what he described as an economic note, Muscat said there is a reversal in the positive trends in consumption expectations and suggested that "new tools are needed to tackle the underlying issues causing drops in economic activity and the increase in the propensity to save".

The PN spokespersons said consumer confidence was waning and urged the government to proactively adopt schemes that protect jobs and companies.

They also lambasted government for “failing to create new economic sectors” over the past 10 years, which renders the government dependent on borrowing to make up for the challenges facing Malta.

The spokespersons highlighted greylisting, forced changes to the tax regime, less income from the golden passport scheme and additional spending to buffer the impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, as major challenges.

“Government must stop wasting money on corrupt deals and consider the economic proposals put forward by the social partners and the PN,” Bartolo and Cutajar said.

They insisted the PN had a clear economic vision for Malta.

Jason Azzopardi finds issue with PN quoting Joseph Muscat

Former Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi found issue with the PN quoting former PM Joseph Muscat in their statement.

In a Facebook post on Friday afternoon, Azzopardi said that for the PN to quote “the person who was labelled as the most corrupt politician in the world” was “crazy” (ġennata).

“So let me understand. You throwaway those who were honest, simply because they worked with Lawrence Gonzi, but you ride on Joseph Muscat,” he said in a not so subtle hint at Chris Said, Mario De Marco and Carm Mifsud Bonnici.